News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


Thereís a what and itís where?

The shriek from the bathroom Tuesday morning gave me the sickening feeling that I had left the commode seat up and Regina fell in.

I've heard similar shrieks. Falling in makes her angry, particularly if it is late at night.

This time, though, she entered the bedroom with fear in her brown eyes. I saw no anger.

"There, there's a frog in the commode," she said. "That's so disgusting."

"I...I...almost sat down on it. moved just as I was ....." she couldn't finish the sentence and repeated herself, "It's disgusting."

She left me to remove the frog, to figure out how it got in and to affirm that it wouldn't come back, and neither would any of its relatives.

"Ed," I said to plumber Ed Davidson about 7 a.m., when I tracked him down on his cell phone, "I've got a strange question for you. How often do frogs or toads get into commodes?"

"Funny thing you asked," he said. "I've been meaning to talk to you about that."

There was no urgency, though, because Ed didn't much believe the frog story he'd heard five years earlier. And he'd never seen a frog in a commode.

He said it was probably a tree frog because when he was at the house about a month ago to free a clogged kitchen sink line, he'd encountered a tree frog in the vent pipe on the roof.

Ed reacted about the way Regina did when the frog scrambled out of the pipe he was feeding a cleaning rod down to clear the obstruction.

"That thing almost scared me to death," he said.

He recalled that a plumber friend from Mississippi told him about the trouble he was having with tree frogs getting into vent pipes.

But this was Ed's first.

"It's going to take putting screen wire over the vents," he said.

In the meanwhile, Regina's afraid one might attach itself to the underside of the commode seat. And that's bringing words I thought I would never hear:

"Just leave the seat up."

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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